Western European News Digest
Merkel's Remarks Embarrass City of London
June 3 (EIRNS)German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday launched what the London Financial Times called on its front page, a "surprisingly strong attack" on the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the European Central Bank. The FT states that it "was remarkable coming from a leader who had so far scrupulously adhered to her country's tradition of never commenting on monetary policy." And Wolfgang Münchau, chief commentator for the FT's German edition, writes in a commentary: "Ms. Merkel is a paid subscriber of those who blame the infidel, inflation-loving, Anglo-Saxon monetary-economic establishment for everything that has gone wrong."
Merkel said: "What other central banks have been doing must be reversed. I am very skeptical about the extent of the Fed's actions and the way the Bank of England has carved its own little line in Europe.... Even the European Central Bank has somewhat bowed to international pressure with its purchase of covered bonds."
Commenting on this report, Helga Zepp-LaRouche said that Merkel is corroborating what the LaRouche movement has been saying all along, about the threat of hyperinflation; finally, the elites seem to realize that LaRouche was right. Another indication of this was the recent cover story in Focus magazine, warning against the return of Weimar-style hyperinflation.
Opel's Insecure Future: A Financial Merry-Go-Round
June 1 (EIRNS)The German government and the federal states agreed on May 30-31 to finance a bridge loan for automaker Opel (part of General Motors Europe), in the amount of EU1.5 billion (with Magna and Sberbank), which then will be transformed into a state guarantee of EU4.5 billion for five years. But the process is a tangle of failed and failing banks, bailouts, and layoffs that are already estimated to be at least 2,000 out of 26,000 in Germany.
The German states (through the state banks, or Landesbanken, which are also to be "restructured" due to their own losses in speculative deals) are going to finance their portion of the Magna credit-guarantee deal.
The question is, who is financing whom? The whole thing looks like a gigantic international merry-go-round to somehow keep money flowing, to prevent a complete collapse of an invisible financial superstructure, along with a possible geopolitical fight, because of the Russian participation via Magna/Sberbank. For Germany the matter is one of great political concern, especially before the Federal elections in September.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück did not rule out Opel's going bankrupt, while defending the present deal as the least bad option.
Baltic States Crushed To Save European Banks
June 6 (EIRNS)After a decade in which the Baltic states were loaded up EU75 billion in debt, which they cannot pay, the Swedish banking system faces collapse. Nonetheless the policy of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund is to crush the Baltic states for the sins of the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.
A Financial Stability report from the Swedish Central Bank released on June 2, pointed to an expected sharp increase of defaults in debts owed to Swedish banks, mainly because of their bad Baltic loans. Despite the claim that Swedish banks passed the "stress test," the report states, "The Central Bank estimates that the actions by the state authorities also today are an important precondition for the stability of the financial system in Sweden." This desperate statement was mentioned nowhere in the Swedish press. Between the lines it said, that the bad condition in the banking system since last Autumn has not changed, and is still totally dependent on life support from the state, without any expectation of change.
Süddeutsche Zeitung Slanders Helga Zepp-LaRouche
June 6 (EIRNS)The morning after Helga Zepp-LaRouche's successful June 3 campaign event in Munich for the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), the German political party which she heads, the Munich-based national daily Süddeutsche Zeitung ran a nasty front-page attack on her. "Addressing the electorate for 33 years now with [soulful] eyes, hair falling softly to her shoulders, the bangs covering her forehead, she is always marching ahead; on Sunday as top candidate for Europe, soon again as Chancellor candidate.... No election without her, without Helga Zepp-LaRouche."
Her looks have changed a bit, the column stated, but "she is still the same person, who [in 1976] ran for the election, a slim 28-year-old. She represents the party that always has the only solution, the Patentrezept, the ultimate truth. The party has many names, currently 'Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität' (BüSo). But whatever the name of the association is at present, it does not matter, because one is as obscure as the other. In the party program, conspiracy theories are balanced with thinly veiled anti-Semitismjust LaRouchism, with a totally new world order."
This attack reflects fear of the visibly increasing popularity of the BüSo. It is indicative that the Munich BüSo event drew an audience of 60, whereas a public event in Wiesbaden on the same day, featuring the top Social Democratic Party (SPD) candidate for the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and SPD national chairman Franz Müntefering, could draw no more than 150.
On June 6, Süddeutsche Zeitung ran an even more vicious slander, which called for banning the BüSo. Jetzt.de, the newspaper's youth website, slandered the BüSo as part of the international "right-wing polit-sect" of the LaRouche movement, and accused it of killing a British youth, who had committed suicide in 2003. The article called the BüSo dangerous, said that it has to be banned as a political party, and that the state has to "pull out the weed before its grows." The website also linked to the BüSo election campaign's TV spotwhich may backfire, since many viewers will find it highly interesting (http://bueso.de/europawahl).